A Little Downsizing Humor for the Holidays

I came across this humorous piece about the different approaches we take to one of life’s regrettable yet inevitable tasks: downsizing.  Who are you in this cast of characters?  Enjoy.

Downsizing Cast Of Characters

 By Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator at Magnussen Group

The holidays are a great time of year to make downsizing decisions. Unlike a Norman Rockwell painting, however, not everyone may be cheery-eyed about the plan.

This Thanksgiving, look around at the faces of the friends and family in front of you. This dinner table makes up the cast of eclectic, opinionated characters taking part in your downsizing saga.


One family member is the motivator for the downsizing project. Often the matriarch of the household, she tries to organize the other parties. The Mother Hen is tired of her “empty” nest being cluttered & is looking forward to migrating to Florida with nothing but her tail feathers. Her determination is strong, but the responsibility of caring for chicks can get in the way of her valiant efforts.


This is the person, perhaps the patriarch of the family, who doesn’t want to deal with downsizing, & wants the project to go away. “Just throw it out!” is his favorite tag line. He is sick of holding onto items for his kids, his spouse, and pretty much anyone besides himself. The Grouch will complain excessively & can only be forced to help out in any productive way through intense coercion.


The Brats, also known as the Mother Hen’s offspring and the unpaid moving committee, have the brawn to help with downsizing, but not the motivation. Sure, they are happy to let her store their stuff, but they have no interest in going through what they want and what they don’t want. The Grouch complains about them constantly. The Mother Hen patiently builds a Hope Chest (full of family china, silver, linens, and other home goods) for her chicks should they ever decide to get married. The kids do NOT want these things. Further, as much as they may mock the Mother Hen for saving their old 4th grade watercolors and 10th grade debate trophies from the clutches of The Grouch, they are sometimes reluctant to truly let go of their childhood trinkets.


Just as there is always a Grouch, there is always a Hoarder. The Hoarder is famous for her catch-phrase, “But you might use that someday!” & “I saw a great way to reuse that on Pinterest!” Some of the Hoarder’s ideas are good. Sadly, she is ultimately too attached to the idea of refinishing and re-purposing everything, to actually assist in throwing things out. She means well, but cannot be trusted with throwing things away no matter how hard the Mother Hen tries to convince her it’s for the best. Ironically, she is generally the only person excited to “help” downsize.


Another staple of any downsizing cast is the Cookie Monster. Perhaps wonderful in other respects, the Cookie Monster has an obsessive hunger for the “cookies” (i.e., valuable objects) of the home. The Cookie Monster may be unwilling to help with the move, but, he is eager to pounce upon the rewards. Sometimes he will make up a story about how Grandma really wanted him to have an object they willed to someone else, but mostly the Cookie Monster simply tries to get what he wants by yelling “Cookies!” until the others give in. When dealing with a Cookie Monster, make sure to keep your cookie jar under lock and key!